(Wall Street Journal) Hemmed in by the global financial squeeze and commodities slump, Argentina’s leftist government has seemingly found a novel way to find the money to stay afloat: cracking open the piggybank of the nation’s private pension system.

Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner speaks next to Economy Minister Carlos Fernandez (right) at the National Social Security Administration in Buenos Aires on Monday.

The government proposed to nationalize the private pensions, which would provide it with much of the cash it needs to meet debt payments and avoid a second default this decade.

The move came as wealthy nations unveiled fresh steps to fight the credit crunch. The U.S. Federal Reserve said it would bolster money-market funds, which have faced withdrawals, by lending as much as $540 billion to the industry. France said it would inject $14 billion into six banks on condition they agree to increase their lending. In a sign banks were a little more willing to lend to each other, the London interbank offered rate, a benchmark for many business and consumer loans, again declined.

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